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Domestic cotton production suffices meager needs
Jan '09
Vietnam needs to import a huge amount of cotton every year to feed the increasing appetite for the white gold from its textile mills. The main reason being that cotton production is falling with each passing year in the country. Experts say that with global cotton acreage shrinking for 2008-09 year, the shortage of this natural fibre will only become more pronounced.

Since the last few years, the cotton acreage has been falling sharply. Statistics reveal that Vietnam has been facing acute shortage of cotton for past couple of years and the problem has just got worse. During the 2007-08 year the cotton growing area came down to less than 7,000 ha, and yield reached only 2,600 tons of fibre. This met only 2 percent of the domestic textile need.

This has led to cotton ginning units shutting down their plants due, to shortage of cotton to process the same. In the first ten months of 2008, Vietnam imported cotton amounting to 198,094 tons and valued at US $306 million, compared to 212,000 tons of cotton, worth $268 million in the whole of 2007.

The 2003-04 cotton crop was the country's largest, with 31,187ha allocated to growing the crop which reduced to less than 7,000ha. Farmers have stopped growing cotton and switched to crops such as maize, potato, cassava and tobacco which provide relatively higher returns than cotton. Economists predict that looking at the current conditions; they foresee a situation where cotton will no longer be grown in the country by 2010.

The US tops the list form amongst the cotton importing countries followed by India, Singapore, Switzerland & UK. The volume of imports from US, India and Singapore grew sharply by 67.6, 93.6 and 317.5 percent respectively in Jan-Oct 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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